What is training whitin industry
TWI is a way for the company to activate and sustain over time a process of continuous improvement through the enhancement of the skills of its employees.
It started in the United States during World War II to help turn the American industry into a war industry and increase production capacity at a time when most of the workforce has left factories to fight at the front.
Referring to its origins, rather than a training program, it is correct to conceive it as a “change” program that, through the creation of method and process standards, allows to transform in a rigorous and structured way the mindset of people.
Developing managerial skills
Often in companies embarking on a Lean Transformation path, the main criticality which is encountered, after an initial start-up period of targeted pilot projects, is to broadly promote the culture of continuous improvement so that at all levels people make it their own.
Top Management usually has a high-level view, but is unaware of the operational details of the processes that form the basis of the organization. With the operators, on the contrary, resides a specific and vertical know-how but it may lack an overview including aspects related to the entire organization.
In this sense, the key figures who serve as a “hinge” between strategy and operations are the “supervisors”, i.e. shift managers, department heads, line managers, room managers, middle managers and therefore anyone who coordinates the activities of other people and must also instruct them on the jobs they must perform.
The method is built on 3 pillars that, in a synergistic way, go to enhance 3 skills that any “intermediate manager” should possess:
- ability to educate their employees, that is, to enable them to quickly learn how to do a certain operation in a correct, safe and conscientious way;
- ability to manage relationships with employees in the workplace, in order to induce them to get involved in improvement activities, without needing to be pushed by their boss to do so;
- ability to improve the methodology to do a determined work, asking oneself a number of questions on the tasks and their chronology to be followed.
The standard kit
The 3 pillars mentioned above are matched by 3 programs:
- Job Instructions– This element is critical to the standardization of each elementary unit that the person is called to perform within an operation. The program provides a training method structured on 4 specific steps, designed to ensure effectiveness in teaching;
- Job Relations: obtaining genuine relationships at work and the resolution of relational problems is the goal of this program, structured on 4 fundamentals: feedback, rewards, anticipation of information and the enhancement of skills;
- Job Methods: The goal of this program is to optimize processes by making the best use of the people, equipment and materials currently available. Breaking down a process into individual operations defines what to delete, reorganize, put together, or simplify.